The [Rover] story is one of an unviable company, a gullible workforce and a spineless government taken for a ride by entrepreneurs who succeeded only in enriching themselves… Phoenix [the company with bought Rover] failed, but not before its directors enriched themselves as efficiently as any private equity investor. BMW’s £427 million could have funded a £50,000-plus payoff for each departing employee. Now they will get a fraction of this in statutory redundancy payments. They, like BMW and the government, must feel like mugs… The four Phoenix partners were able to award themselves a £10 million loan note, gain personal control of a lucrative financing business and fund a £16.5 million directors pension pot. They also transferred valuable assets from Rover to the parent Phoenix. This is capitalism at its ugliest.
Financial Times editorial, “A Tale of Greed and Gullibility”, Saturday, April 9, 2005